Welcome to our Blog!

 

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about our community and want to help you find your place in it.

Recent Posts:

 

Make Your Front Door Pop!

September 26th, 2019

Why you SHOULD sell your home off season

September 20th, 2019

What Baby Boomers Want Now

September 16th, 2019

Brantford Real Estate Market

September 9th, 2019

Labour Day Weekend

August 29th, 2019

Why You Should Change your Furnace Filter in Summertime Too!

August 8th, 2019

How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

July 15th, 2019

Brigitte's Household Tips - A/C

July 11th, 2019

Garden Suites - A Solution for our Elderly?

July 5th, 2019

Should You Rely Upon Online Home Valuation Tools?

June 11th, 2019

Things to Consider When Marketing Your Property

May 10th, 2019

What Happens After You Are Fully Approved for a Mortgage?

May 9th, 2019

Lynden Hills & Brantwood Park Neighbourhood

May 8th, 2019

Curb Appeal & Real Estate

May 2nd, 2019

 

To search and see all Active MLS Listings in your area as well as those who currently have an offer and to create your own Market Report  click the link here:

https://www.propertyforsaleinbrantford.com/

Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

 

Sept. 26, 2019

Make Your Front Door Pop!

“Creativity is intelligence having fun” – Albert Einstein



Do you ever drive down a street and one house just stands out more than the others? Often times, it has to do with how the owner has staged the front yard and porch to attract your eye. A simple way to set your property apart from your neighbours (especially if you plan to list your Property For Sale) is to paint your front door(s).

This can be a bit of a challenge if you are not familiar with how to choose a complimentary or even a bold stand out paint. Start by stepping back to your curb and looking at the style of your home. What are the predominant colours so far in landscaping, siding or the brick tones on your home? Look for colours that complement each other in the nature around you.

If your home is an unusual style with a solid white, soft grey or tan siding/ brick, it is a perfect canvas for an unusual colour like teal. Homes with clay brick look fresh with a bright red, burnt orange or yellow door.

Visit your local paint store to ask about the best quality outdoor paints and take home a number of sample paint swatches to attach to your front door. Observe how the outdoor lighting changes over a few days before making your final decision on your preferred colour.

Smaller homes may benefit from a monochrome exterior where the front door blends with the exterior. Then you are able utilize colourful planters, wall sconces, benches and accessories on the front porch area to draw the eye in.

Fall is a great time of year to enhance your properties’ street appeal and set it apart with your own personal style and taste. Next time someone drives down your street, they will be stopping to get inspiration from your property!

From my house to yours…

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Sept. 20, 2019

Why you SHOULD sell your home off season

Fall Front Door

 

It is very common for people to want to show their property in the best possible conditions, so in our Northern climate, many chose to List their Property For Sale in the Spring and summer months to perhaps show off a swimming pool or great landscaping. We all love to see colourful flower gardens in bloom and nice manicured green lawns.

What if I told you it may be a better strategy to sell your home in the off season? Fall and Winter can be a great time to market your property because the Seller pool and therefore competition is typically less than in peak season. Your property will not be vying for attention to the same degree it would in the warmer months with so many properties coming up for sale at the same time.

Front porches and interiors can be specifically decorated to showcase a cooler Season like Fall or Winter and the interiors can be enhanced by the warmth of Christmas decorating and a hearth to gather around with family.

Typically people who are looking to purchase a property in the off season either really want to move, or have to move for personal or employment reasons. You may find the Buyers more serious and less likely to be “lookie-loos”.

In Peak Real Estate Season, Buyers can afford to be more choosy and may not be in as much of a hurry to place an Offer. The demographics of Buyers tend to change in the off season for Real Estate as families wish to relocate before the Fall to ensure the kids are able to attend their new school in the area, while more mature couples or families with no school age children are comfortable waiting out the summer sales frenzy in favour of a calmer Market in the cooler months.

If you plan to sell your home in the off season, it is always a good policy to have pictures available of your property and yard from the warmer months. A few weeks ago I had a professional photographer do an interior and exterior photo shoot, virtual tour and floor plan of a client’s property that will not be marketed for a month or two.

A word of caution from a personal experience of mine…I was very excited to purchase my first home (definitely inexperienced at the time) that had a 266 ft deep lot as I am an avid gardener and could picture all of the great things I could do with this property. It was in the deep months of winter and the ground was covered in snow. I made the mistake of not asking for pictures of the property from the summer and to my chagrin, when the snow melted in the Spring, the site was in rough condition and I had much more work cut out for me than planned.

In the end, timing is everything as they say and a quality Realtor will give you an honest assessment of when the right time to market your property is, not only based on the changing Seasons, but also on current Market Conditions. To find out what is happening in your neighbourhood, search as often as you like here, or if you’d like to discuss your Selling options, I am here to advise and help you navigate your way through the process. Enjoy this beautiful Fall weather!

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Sept. 16, 2019

What Baby Boomers Want Now

As Baby Boomers reach retirement age, one of the things that is predominant in their thinking is to pay off their mortgage. Boomers have spent their adult lives working to pay off their mortgage and see this as a destination, as well as a milestone season in their lives.

When surveyed, the majority of Baby Boomers want to stay independent and live in their own homes as they age rather than live in a retirement facility. Many state if long term care is required, they would prefer to have in-home care as long as possible.

The growing trend that I am personally seeing as a Brantford Realtor is they wish to move from their larger family home to something more manageable, typically a one storey residence to accommodate aging knees, hips and backs. Downsizing also allows freedom from maintaining large properties and gardens to slow down and take life a little easier.

It is very common for Boomers to want to return to their roots by relocating close to familiar areas near amenities, grocery stores, walking trails, parks, restaurants and coffee shops. While many Boomers wish to be close to home in order to stay connected with family, friends and grandchildren, there are others who sell their large homes in favour of moving to a warmer climate, at least for a part of the year. The latter group can greatly benefit by getting top dollar for their properties in a “Sellers’ Market”.

Some Baby Boomers don’t mind a bit of cosmetic work to be completed on their new purchase and see this as a great retirement project, but most prefer a clean home that is ready to move in to. They lean towards an open concept floor plan for entertaining and like the conveniences of a main floor laundry room, or an in suite laundry in a condo building as well as updated appliances and modern interiors.

As Boomers retire the question becomes where will their Buyers come from for the larger properties they are selling? Historically, in the Brantford Real Estate Market, the bulk of residential home sales fell between the $350,000 and $500,000 range and the number of sales declines with each additional $50,000 increment. Many younger families with children enjoy the separation of a two storey larger residence, with space for the family to grow.

Knowing who your Buyer will be and hiring a Realtor that knows how to reach your target market is a very important part of the decision to Sell Your Property. Your Realtor should have in depth knowledge of current Real Estate Market Conditions.

If you are considering downsizing, or plan to Sell Your Property to enjoy travel and freedom to relocate, your best ally is a Realtor with years of experience who is open to hear your plans and goals and makes it their personal mission to help you reach them.

Sept. 9, 2019

Brantford Real Estate Market

I think most Realtors can attest to the question they are most asked…”So what’s happening in the real estate market?” Your home is likely one of the largest investments you will make and it is critical to stay on top of market trends to know not only the value of your property, but when to Buy or Sell Real Estate.

In retrospect 2019 has been an unusual year. This year was a year of uncertainty. The bubble of 2017 eventually levelled off in approximately mid-2018 and the tougher mortgage rules that were implemented in January of 2018 have some Buyers struggling to afford ownership. Mortgage Interest rates are currently stable at 2.65% variable, the TD is reporting 2.87% for a five year fixed mortgage and Scotiabank is offering a three year fixed mortgage at 2.89%.

There is a strong demand for entry-level housing and the highest level of residential transactions for the month of August, 2019 in Brantford and Brant County was in the range of $350,000 to $450,000. The selling price for a detached house in Brantford in August 2018 versus 2019 is up 2.58% with an average selling price of $472, 328.

The Experts state the U.S. / China trade conflict should be watched carefully as world trade has contracted and business investment has weakened which is having the effect of weighing more heavily on the global economic momentum than anticipated. Canada’s economy is chugging along at close to its’ potential and inflation is on target at 2%. The global developments will be monitored closely to determine their impact on the outlook for Canadian growth and inflation.


To stay on top of what is happening in our home town of Brantford, Ontario and surrounding areas, you can literally "watch" your neighbourhood for properties Listed for Sale and those under Contract by choosing either a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly report. You no longer need to search through newspaper ads, check Realtor.ca, or sneak into Open Houses to see what is Just Listed for Sale, or to keep an eye on property values in your area. You can now go directly to a source that is updated every five minutes to “spy” on the area you are interested in.

Click the link below and request your Market Report today.

Market Report Search

 

 

The information in this article has been gathered from numerous sources and is strictly the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Royal Lepage Action Realty Inc.

Aug. 29, 2019

Labour Day Weekend

Labour Day Banner Image

Labour Day Weekend is a time when mothers rejoice at the knowledge the kids will be back to school and no longer in need full time care, or entertainment at home. It is also the official end of hot dog season…imagine and there was a time when white clothing was no longer worn after the long weekend, but Fashion Icons put the kibosh on that notion many years ago.

What originated as a massive demonstration of solidarity for the working class in the streets of Toronto, was then carried over into an annual celebration with different unions identified by the colourful banners they marched with. The working class people had to fight for less than a 12 hour working day (six days per week) and the “nine hour movement” originated in Hamilton, Ontario.

In 1894 under mounting pressure from the working class, Prime Minister Sir John Thompson in 1894 declared Labour Day a national holiday.

Current Labour Day weekend has become an official farewell to summer and a time to hold one last camping trip, or road trip with the family before the school year starts.

No matter how you decide to spend the last long weekend before November, enjoy the early Fall bounty, get out with friends and family and be thankful for the beautiful country we live in. Enjoy, be safe.

Happy Labour Day from my house to yours!

Posted in Community News
Aug. 8, 2019

Why you should change your Furnace Filter in the Summertime Too

We often think of changing our furnace filters just before the winter season, but there are many good reasons to change your filter during the summer. If you keep your doors and windows open from time to time when the air is cooler outside, then you will be drawing in allergens which can recirculate through your home once the Air Conditioning is turned on, if your filter is not clean. This can reduce the air quality in your home and if anyone in your family is prone to summer allergies, this may heighten their sensitivity.

Human and pet dust along with outdoor allergens can clog the furnace filter and force the system to work harder, creating more energy expended and increasing your monthly bills as well. If you have completed any interior renovations, dry walling, installation of flooring, or anything that has created more dust than usual, check your furnace filter and you may find it has gathered there.

 So how often should you change your furnace filter anyway?

The professionals recommend a minimum every three months. It is important to purchase good quality filters, or you may find they need to be switched out more often. If you like to keep the fan on in our home even if the AC is not running, you should change your one and two inch filters monthly.

One of the most common errors installing the filter is not ensuring the arrow on the side of the filter as indicated in the picture, is facing toward the furnace.

So keep cool and keep your air quality clean by switching out your furnace filter more often. I just changed ours here!

Furnace Filters

From my house to yours….

Posted in Selling Your Home
July 15, 2019

How To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

In this day and age of the internet, on-line banking and text communications, it is much easier for Fraudsters to get a hold of your personal information and perpetrate Identity Theft. This scam can have far reaching consequences to the victim and in fact can amount to huge financial losses, property being transferred without your knowledge and you being left in the dark until it is too late. It can take months, if not years to correct the situation and often times leaves the victim stuck with a huge financial burden after the perpetrator is long gone. So how do you protect yourself before it happens?

Don’t have documents with your personal information lying around and don’t throw them in the garbage where they can be easily picked up from the curb. Invest in a good paper shredder for home use. Make sure to shred all important bank statements, or anything that contains your personal information. If you need to keep paper copies of important documents make certain they are out of sight and locked away. Especially ensure all personal information is in a secure location if holding an Open House at your property.

Never give out your personal information in an email or during a phone call. Banks do not ask for your personal information in this manner and they will NEVER ask for your personal pin or log-in information.

Store your birth certificate and social insurance number in a secure place. Do not carry them with you and keep your Revenue Canada documents and filings locked away where they cannot be easily accessed. Think about what it would feel like to have your home broken into. What have you left out that is easily available to the people entering your home, with the sole intent to steal your belongings as well as your identity? Don’t make it easy for them.

Never verbally discuss your private financial matters in a public place where anyone can be listening. Ask to be taken to a private room if you feel your information is of a sensitive nature.

Ensure you change your passwords often for bank accounts and credit cards. Use characters, capitals and something that is not easily deciphered. When your Bank asks for you to sign up for their security when you open your on-line banking, be sure to do so.

Keep an eye on your credit bureau report at least quarterly to ensure there are no new open credit cards or loans that you have not personally subscribed to.

Title Fraud is real and a very devastating situation to encounter for anyone and can take a huge financial toll on its victims. The best way to protect yourself against losing title to your property through an intentional fraud is to purchase Title Insurance from a trusted lawyer. The one time cost on most residential transactions at $500K or less with a conventional mortgage, is $255 for the policy and $150 plus HST for legal fees for a total of $424.50 (in Ontario using FCT as the provider) which is paid on closing of the transaction and will cover such things as title fraud, past due taxes from a previous owner, former liens and encumbrances and more. Title Insurance will not protect you from Identity Theft however if the perpetrators manage to transfer title of your property illegally through access to your personal information, the Title Insurance will provide you with the proceeds from the fraudulent sale of your house.

In the end, it is better to protect yourself in advance, than become a victim. Take the time to secure your personal information at home, on-line and at work.

July 11, 2019

Brigitte's Household Tips

The summer is a great time to spend outdoors and I regularly take a walk around my yard to see what new plants are peaking through, or to water and just generally enjoy the space.

This morning while in my backyard, I noticed my air conditioning unit was covered in white fluff and it was stuck on pretty thick. It looks like it is snowing in summer, but it’s just the cottonwood trees dropping their seeds.

To keep your AC unit functioning efficiently, about once every week or two, turn the unit off and get your garden hose out and turn the nozzle to the jet setting. Give the outside screen area of the unit a wash down from top to bottom. That way, you will be ensuring you are not taxing the motor and will be getting the most out of the air being drawn in to cool your home. You don’t need to wash through the top of the unit, just the sides.

From my house to yours, enjoy these Dog Days of summer!

July 6, 2019

Garden Suites - A Solution for our Elderly?

I am often faced with elderly people who are well enough to live independently, but still need daily care who wish to remain in their own detached space as long as possible.

Did you know that Garden Suites are a permitted use in Brantford and Brant County? There is an application process, zoning change, minimum square footage and a deposit requirement, however if you can prove a relative is in need of care and they still wish to be independent, but nearby, this may be a perfect solution as they can live right in your backyard.

The homes must be pre-fabricated, connected to water and sewer/septic and are only allowed for a 20 year time frame at which point the structure must be removed.

If you have the space and a loved one who does not wish to be placed in elder care and you are able to help them from your home, then this is worth checking in to. If this is not a viable solution, there are many other options available. To be placed on a search, or if would like to look on your own, please sign up to www.propertyforsaleinbrantford.com or call/text Brigitte Shaw at (519)-755-7250

For further information, by-law requirements and the application process for Garden Suites, please contact your City or County Planning Department.

Brantford - (519) 759-4150

Brant County - (519) 442-6324

 

June 11, 2019

Should you rely upon online home valuation tools?

We all get curious and want to know what our property is worth, perhaps without the expense of a full Real Estate Appraisal which can run around $400 CAD and a Market Analysis or CMA can be free if enlisting the help of a Realtor, but some homeowners are hesitant to involve a Professional before they are ready to make a move. There are numerous on-line options, some that are free and some that will require a fee.

 

We decided to give a few of these tools a try and found a wide range of value for a specific property (as much as $100,000 difference). These tools can be tempting for someone wishing to get a ball park value for their property, however given the wide range that can be indicated, it is not advisable to base a major decision on the valuation provided from on-line tools.

 

There are multiple factors that determine the value of a given property and one is certainly location, the second is condition and of course the state of the current real estate market and whether it is a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market, will dictate value to a degree.

 

There are easy (and free) ways to get an idea of what your property is worth, by attending regular Open Houses in your neighbourhood or use a web site like www.propertyforsaleinbrantford.com that allows you to see all Active MLS listings in your area as well as properties that are under Contract and have an Offer on them. The site reveals per square foot cost, any price reductions, house size, beds, baths etc. The site also has an option for you to sign up for weekly, bi weekly, or monthly reports to stay on top the area in which you live or any other area of interest.

 

In the end, on-line tools are there as a guideline, however your final valuation should be prepared by a Professional in the field who can provide you with a report in writing, detailing why the value is as indicated and explain the differences between your property and the Comparable Properties in the Report.

 

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